Before You Sign Your Lease, Use This Checklist

Before you commit to renting a housing unit, you will want to clearly understand the responsibilities involved with each of the terms below. They should be explicitly identified in your lease. Compare any lease you consider signing with applicable tenant-landlord laws. Some helpful links:

As you are reading through your lease, make sure the following items are addressed within the document. If some things are not addressed, be sure to ask the landlord about his or her policy regarding those items. You may also request to have items added to the lease. For questions about leases and legal issues involved in tenant-landlord relationships, you can follow the links above.

Checklist:

RENT

  • Amount
  • Due date
  • Penalty for late payment
  • Reduction for advance payment
  • Price changes
  • Conditions for price change

SECURITY/DAMAGE DEPOSIT

  • Amount
  • Conditions for return
  • Date for return

TERMINATION

  • Ability to sublet
  • Conditions for sublet
  • Conditions for terminating lease

PARKING

  • Location
  • Limitations
  • Street Sweeping

TIME OF OCCUPANCY

  • Dates (be exact)
  • Requirements for moving
  • Number of occupants (min/max)

DAMAGES

  • Responsibility for changes of agreement
  • Assessment of damages
  • Responsibility for repairs

CHANGES IN AGREEMENT

  • Conditions for changes of agreement
  • Process for changing agreement

LAUNDRY FACILITIES

  • Provision of facilities
  • Ability for tenant to install machines
  • Other limitations

INSPECTION

  • When
  • By Whom (landlord, others?)
  • Letter of compliance
  • Notification of inspection

ADDITIONAL COSTS

  • Utilities
  • Overnight/weekend guests
  • Parking
  • Furnishings
  • Cleaning
  • Other

RESTRICTIONS

  • Noise
  • Storage
  • Pets
  • Alterations (painting, pic hanging)
  • Conduct
  • Social gatherings
  • Waterbeds
  • Other

CLEANING

  • Responsibility
  • Frequency
  • Equipment provided

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Planned improvements/special work

OWNER

  • Name + address of property owner
  • Name + address of property manager
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